WASHINGTON — Watch out! Your car could soon be towed or booted in the District if you have multiple speeding or red light violations.
The 'Reckless Driver Accountability Act of 2019,' a bill introduced today by D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), is aiming to reduce dangerous driving across the city by targeting routinely reckless drivers.
This new bill will allow the District to boot or impound any car with five tickets for speeding or running a red light, in addition to any car with three tickets for speeding more than 25 mph over the limit within a one-year period.
Speed camera tickets would also be counted toward the total.
To avoid getting a car booted or towed -- or to even get your car back if towed -- the vehicle's owner would have to take a reckless driving class that emphasizes speeding and how driving reckless can put other's lives at risk.
"Some drivers are egregious repeat offenders—toting up to tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of speeding tickets," Silverman said in a press release. "They are a very real threat to not only pedestrians and cyclists but other drivers on the road. We need to get them to slow down..."
The car owner would need to sign up for the class within 10 days of notification of the final ticket and complete the reckless driving course within 90 days.
Drivers would be notified by the District when they have four speeding/red-light tickets or two tickets for driving more than 25 mph over the speed limit in the given area.
However, there's good news: Upon taking and successfully completing the course, the ticket total would reset to zero.
New York has a similar program that also uses small group sessions, which Silverman said has been effective for the state. There have been approximately 30 to 40 pedestrian fatalities annually in the Greater Washington area due to drivers running red lights.
Councilmembers David Grosso (I-At Large), Anita Bonds (D-At Large), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) co-signed the bill. It was referred to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment.